Farmer organisations have called a “Bharat Bandh” today as part of their long protest seeking withdrawal of three farm laws that they allege will give power to private firms to take over the agriculture sector. Several trains have been cancelled.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 farm unions, is leading the 6 am-4 pm protest today. The group has said they will not allow movement on some sections of national highways. This morning, Delhi-Meerut Expressway was blocked near the Ghazipur protest site, affecting the traffic coming from Uttar Pradesh. Huge traffic jams were seen at Delhi’s borders with Gurgaon and Noida as vehicles entering the national capital were hecked by Delhi Police and paramilitary jawans.
Government and private offices, educational and other institutions, shops, industries and commercial establishments will be closed across the country, the SKM said. However, demonstrators have insisted that emergency services won’t be affected.
Farmers have also blocked the Shambhu border between Punjab and Haryana. The Haryana Police on Sunday asked people to be prepared to face traffic congestion. “It is expected the agitating groups may sit on dharna on roads and highways and block them for some time. The national and state highways in Haryana may see some traffic disruptions for several hours,” a state police spokesperson said on Sunday.
In Punjab, state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu asked party workers to support the protest by farmers. “Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee firmly stands by farmer unions’ demand for Bharat Bandh on September 27, 2021. In the war of right and wrong, you cannot afford to be neutral. We urge every Congress worker to fight with all their might against the three unconstitutional black laws,” Sidhu tweeted.